Dialectical behaviour Therapy (dbT)

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that was developed for individuals who struggle with intense emotions. Such individuals might engage in self-destructive behaviours to cope with their emotions, such as binge eating, purging, alcohol or drug use, and/or self-harm.  


The aim of DBT is to help individuals: learn to recognise, understand and accept difficult emotions; learn skills to soothe and regulate emotions; improve relationships with others by learning healthy relationship boundaries and interpersonal skills; and to live in the present moment. The therapy works using a balance of acceptance and change techniques.


What does Dialectical Behaviour Therapy involve?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is focused upon four main areas:

  • Mindfulness - being present in the current moment and tuning into feelings and thoughts in a non-judgmental curious way.

  • Distress Tolerance - learning tools to tolerate and soothe intense emotions in the moment.

  • Emotion Regulation - learning positive self-care tools to keep mood stable and prevent intense emotions occuring as frequently.

  • Interpersonal effectiveness - learning how to form and maintain healthy relationships.

Please note - the full DBT programme involves a weekly skills group alongside weekly individual therapy and telephone support. At Treating Disorders the DBT offered is only within the context of individual therapy.